A quarter of a century of teaching builds calluses. I like my students, but I have learned to accept that they come for a short time and then are gone. I don’t mean to be aloof, but after pouring my heart and soul into the teaching, there isn’t much left.
Today, which marks the end of an intensive 12 week course, was a little different. The class progressed well and I thought it would end pretty calmly. Instead, my students seemed to find themselves a bit surprised when it was over. Perhaps they had been avoiding thinking about it, or perhaps they had been in denial–if those are indeed two separate things.
As a teacher, those moments are golden. At the last minute the class gels and you realized the last twelve weeks have been really good. At the last minute, you wish it could be another few weeks. At the last minute, all the missed assignments, annoying questions, late arrivals, distractions, and repeated mistakes fade into the background. At the last minute the jokes are amplified and awkward moments diminished. At the last minute, you wish it wasn’t going to end so suddenly.
My students have a big test (written and oral) next week. Only then will it be all over. Only then will one have perspective. As for now, I’ve got a good group photograph. As of now, I’ve got Today’s Perfect Moment.